GREEN BAY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Brown County

22 years later: De Pere Family celebrates final mortgage payment on Habitat for Humanity home

Positively Wisconsin

BELLEVUE, Wis. (WFRV) — Thursday afternoon Sonia and Francisco Roman closed a 22-year chapter in their lives as they turned in their final mortgage payment to Greater Green Bay Habitat for Humanity.

“We burned the mortgage on Francisco and Sonia Roman’s house,” Executive Director Cora Haltaufderheid said. “This hope and their dream of home ownership was fulfilled and their final payment was made.”

The Roman family moved into the home in 1998, when their triplet sons were 9 and their youngest was 3.

“It was great,” Sonia said when asked what it was like raising the boys in the De Pere home. “They had their own backyard to play in, which was so important to me.”

The family moved to the Green Bay area from Chicago, Sonia explained they made the move to raise the boys in a safer environment.

“We came here not knowing anyone at all,” she said, “and life has been good. It was the best thing that ever happened to us.”

Sonia says while the house was being built, becoming homeowners felt too good to be true.

“It was an incredible thing,” she told Local 5. “I would come by and drive at night and just stare at it, is this really happening to me?”

22 years later, the family has no plans to move.

“They love the house,” Sonia said of her sons. “They grew up in the house, that’s the Roman house.”

The Triplets just turned 32 and the youngest Roman is now 25.

“They’re already discussing who’s inheriting it and who’s getting it and they’re living in it for the rest of their lives,” Sonia laughed.

Even with this chapter wrapped up, Habitat for Humanity officials say the relationship continues.

“They’ll be friends forever,” Haltaufderheid said, “I mean, we go back a long ways with these families.”

Sonia added, “They just worked with us all the way through it, we couldn’t have done it without you guys either.”

The Roman home was the first Habitat for Humanity build in De Pere.

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